Fuck Yeah Poetry Slam!

For all things slam poetry and spoken word!

#slam poetry



Button Poetry

Wonder Dave


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I love being surprised when I write. Usually I start with a scrap of language, something musical and/or imagistic that feels alive and urgent for some crackpot reason. Then I follow that initial burst of energy, hoping to discover other bursts. Or squeaks, at least. Sometimes I’m pretty purposeful in trying to disrupt/interrupt the poem–I’ll throw in elements that I’m not sure fit together, and that becomes the challenge.

—Chen Chen, interviewed by Diana Clarke for Pank (via bostonpoetryslam)

When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.

When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.

When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.

When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.

When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”

You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.

You will turn 18 
and become queen of the Nile.

You will turn 18 
and bring justice to journalism.

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.

This is your call to leap.

There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.

You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
is burn.


One of my favorite performances of “In America” - recorded by All Def Digital at the 2014 Ink Slam festival at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles.

Have you ever made a mistake?
A real one? Burned or held a body
you didn’t want because you could feel
its ruin, and it wasn’t you.
By mistake, I mean I would like
to be absolved.

—Stevie Edwards, “Sorry I’m Not Sorry,” published in Drunk in a Midnight Choir (via bostonpoetryslam)

Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.

—Cheryl Strayed (via poemsbydes)


Deonte Osayande - “Silhouette”

"You bring up old music, like we ain’t made shit since Motown left."

Performing for Button Poetry at the Soap Boxing Poetry Slam in Saint Paul, MN. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

Nothing ever ends poetically. It ends and we turn it into poetry. All that blood was never once beautiful. It was just red.

—Kait Rokowski (via adderalldust)

(Source: writingsforwinter, via poppyraucous)


Javon Johnson - “Letter From Michael Jackson to Justin Bieber”

"I know puppets when I see them. I only wonder who controls your strings."

Javon Johnson, performing during the Button Showcase at the 2014 National Poetry Slam. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!


How to help your mom set up an online dating profile on J-Date? -Josh Healey